Former Florida GOP Gov. Jeb Bush says that he would have authorized the 2003 invasion of Iraq but acknowledges that mistakes were made after Saddam Hussein had been removed from power, in an exclusive interview with Fox News’ Megyn Kelly.
“I would have [authorized the invasion], and so would have Hillary Clinton, just to remind everybody. And so would almost everybody that was confronted with the intelligence they got,” Bush told Kelly in a wide-ranging interview that will be aired Monday night.
Bush says the United States failed to focus on security first, which he argues led Iraqis to turn on the military because there was no protection for families. However, he challenged the idea that the security issue was a point of disagreement between him and his brother, President George W. Bush, who ordered the invasion.
“By the way, guess who thinks that those mistakes took place as well? George W. Bush,” Jeb Bush said. “Yes, I mean, so just for the news flash to the world, if they’re trying to find places where there’s big space between me and my brother, this might not be one of those.”
Watch the full interview with Bush on Fox News’ "The Kelly File" on Monday at 9 p.m. ET
Bush also talked about his views on immigration reform and whether he could get his ideas through a GOP primary should he decide to run for president.
“I mean, there’s got to be a point where we fix this system so that legal immigration is easier than illegal immigration and show some respect for people,” he said. To “a kid that might have been here 10 years, that might be a valedictorian of their high school, to say, 'No, no, no, you’re not allowed to go to college,' I just think there’s a point passed which we’re over the line. “
On the issue of whether he could persuade people in the conservative wing of the party to agree with him, Bush said that he believed he could but that standing by his beliefs at the same time is equally important.
“But here’s the deal, Megyn, if I go beyond the consideration of running to be an actual candidate, do you want people to just bend with the wind, to mirror people’s sentiment whoever is in front of you? ‘Oh, yes, I used to be for that but now, I’m for this.’ Is that the way we want to elect presidents?” Bush asked.